Definition of coarse in English:



  • 1Rough or harsh in texture.

    ‘a coarse woollen cloth’
    • ‘I sighed, moved to stroke the slightly coarse fur on her shoulder.’
    • ‘We added a sack of sugar, a pouch of coarse black tobacco, and got his grudging acceptance.’
    • ‘She stared at herself, and then pulled on her own clothes, feeling safer in the thick coarse fabrics, the rough knitted jumper.’
    • ‘Her voice was coarse as if she had been yelling all night.’
    • ‘The material is coarse and rough, the fabric verdant and winter green.’
    • ‘Everyone always wants to touch the cloth because it looks so rough and coarse, but I can assure you, there is nothing so comfortable for the climate!’
    • ‘Dulse is a seaweed native to the British Isles that has a reddish-brown color and coarse texture.’
    • ‘Objects jumped out in sharp relief: furniture, stairs, the grain of the wood on the cleanly swept floor, the coarse texture of rugs.’
    • ‘Today, refined wheat and rice have virtually displaced coarse grains and millets as the staple cereal.’
    • ‘Her coarse black hair was pulled into two cute pigtails, and she smiled shyly.’
    • ‘His voice was coarse and scratchy, filled with malice and hunger.’
    • ‘The carpet lining the boot was scratchy - it was black and coarse and smelled of old mud and car.’
    • ‘They wore flannel shirts over loose-fitting pants fashioned of droguet, or drugget, a durable and coarse woolen fabric.’
    • ‘In fact it was rather ugly, with coarse brown scales and thick awkward looking fins.’
    • ‘The coarse texture and mild flavour of the beans contrasted nicely with the saltiness of the smoked ham and the richness of the sausage.’
    • ‘In his most characteristic works he carved directly in stone, preferring a hard stone with a coarse texture.’
    • ‘He stood six feet tall and was covered in coarse black fur.’
    • ‘I can see the depths of his chestnut eyes, the coarse texture of his jet black hair, and the shape of his slightly muscular figure.’
    • ‘Oats can be used for hay; however, as with the winter cereals, oats are coarse, slow to dry, and often produce dusty hay.’
    • ‘It will also be advisable to reclassify coarse cereals as ‘nutritious grains’ in order to underline their desirable nutritive properties.’
    • ‘He was a rather tall boy with a head full of coarse black hair.’
    rough, bristly, scratchy, prickly, hairy, shaggy, wiry
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Consisting of large grains or particles.
      ‘coarse sand’
      • ‘The coarse white sand of the sea floor contrasted with the pinkish walls with their splattering of yellow, orange and red anemones.’
      • ‘Just lay it on the ground in the cleared area, and fill it with a coarse grade of sand.’
      • ‘Beneath her she could feel the coarse grit of sand and pebbles, and in the air she could smell the ocean.’
      • ‘Just whiz some of the bread in a food processor until it becomes a pile of coarse crumbs.’
      • ‘A little coarse salt, some ground pepper, and fire.’
      • ‘Lard in particular has a coarse, crystalline structure which makes a highly effective barrier.’
      • ‘Water used for domestic purposes can be easily recycled by passing it through layers of charcoal and coarse sand.’
      • ‘If the surface is slick, such as ceramic tile, sand it with coarse sandpaper.’
      • ‘Blend this all together using the tips of your fingers, until it resembles coarse sand.’
      • ‘For plants that need free drainage I add very coarse sand or fine gravel.’
      • ‘Sprinkle the coarse salt over a sheet pan and arrange the clams on top.’
      • ‘Inhalation of coarse, ambient particulate matter may also contribute to the exacerbation of reactive airways disease.’
      • ‘If your soil is poorly drained, it may be necessary to put a little coarse sand at the base of the hole.’
      • ‘Work started on the site for the pergola today, with the foundations being levelled and the gaps between the stone being filled with coarse gravel ready to receive sand and slabs.’
      • ‘A ragged, yellow-green plant had pushed its way through the coarse, black soil.’
      • ‘Beneath these lies a floor of coarse granite sand and broken shell.’
      • ‘Some sift sand from millet, while others pound the grain into a coarse flour.’
      • ‘For container gardening use a fast draining potting soil mixed with a little coarse sand.’
      • ‘There are places where the sand is coarse and hard instead of soft, worn by years of the sea and her moods.’
    2. 1.2 (of grains or particles) large.
      ‘under the microscope they are seen to contain coarse grains’
      • ‘Grain orientation also plays a large part in determining toughness of alloys containing coarse particles.’
      • ‘He also needs to know the fineness, because coarse particles don't work.’
      • ‘Because of the fragmentation of nuclei and the disruption of cellular membranes, coarse granular particles are formed.’
      • ‘The second heating refines the coarse grains and leaves the steel in a softened condition.’
      • ‘These coarse particles indicate that the decorator prepared his paint poorly.’
      • ‘The gold distribution in the ore is quite uneven - coarse grains with occasional nuggets are typical.’
      • ‘If the grains are too coarse the metal will exhibit a rough surface finish on machining and an ‘orange peel’ effect after pressing.’
      • ‘This wider mix of particle sizes is important because how much sediment a river carries also depends on the relative mix of coarse and fine grains.’
      • ‘If a drop of the same ink is mixed with a drop of fresh blood, the carbon precipitates at once in the form of rather coarse black particles, assembling in small irregular clusters.’
      • ‘Some biologic links between coarse particles and exacerbation of respiratory problems support these findings.’
      • ‘Breton butter is notable since it's almost always flecked with large, coarse grains of salt that crunch when you bite into them.’
      • ‘These observations explained the presence of the coarse suspended particles found in the present study.’
      • ‘Grain size in the intrusion remains coarse right up to the contact with metasedimentary host rocks.’
      • ‘In this type of sediment, relatively coarse sand grains are mixed with silt and clay.’
      • ‘At a microscopic scale, at the surface of the deposit, coarse particles roll on a deposit of fine particles as a result of particle segregation.’
      • ‘Sprinkle with coarse grain sugar; bake until golden brown, about 40 minutes.’
    3. 1.3 (of a person's features) not elegantly formed or proportioned.
      ‘his coarse, ugly features contorted with rage’
      • ‘From the servants I had heard that she was very coarse looking and rude.’
      • ‘The male figures here, as before, are represented as coarse, even brutal in feature.’
      • ‘His facial features were coarse, his hands were spade-like, and his feet were large.’
      heavy, broad, large, rough, rough-hewn, unrefined, inelegant
      View synonyms
    4. 1.4 (of food or drink) of inferior quality.
      ‘the wine is harsh, tannic, and coarse’
      • ‘This is just as well; the coarse meat of a big, ‘wormy’ drum makes poor table fare.’
      • ‘The food was meager, coarse bread and a single cup of water along with a small bowl of some kind of stew, long gone cold.’
      • ‘The stuff available is of poor quality - yellow rice that smells rancid; coarse sugar full of dirt, etc.’
      • ‘Elderly people often describe the hard days of the past with examples of how they struggled with inadequate and coarse food.’
      • ‘After days without respite from the coarse gruel and dairy produce that was the usual fare of a herdsman, I was more than ready for some good meat.’
      • ‘A Chinese hostess will usually say to her guests she has nothing to offer them but some coarse food and plain tea.’
      • ‘It was Julian, the urchin who had once served the coarse wine in The Oranges bar.’
      • ‘The Romans considered the leek a superior vegetable, unlike onions and garlic which were despised as coarse foods for the poor.’
  • 2(of a person or their speech) rude or vulgar.

    ‘a man of coarse speech’
    ‘indecent language and coarse jests’
    • ‘The people whom he met, besides his own kin, were coarse in speech and thought.’
    • ‘The ogres, unable to see her, began to look around, still roaring and shouting in their coarse speech.’
    • ‘The poet who was so courtly and gentle in his verse could be coarse and vulgar in his everyday speech.’
    • ‘Or, you could argue that our language has become downright coarse, offensive and rude.’
    • ‘If the government were made up entirely of that coarse element - the violators, self-seekers, and flatterers - who form its core, it could not continue to exist.’
    • ‘You will see women lose their uniqueness - they will become as coarse, as brutish as men.’
    • ‘He could hear the low hum of voices and the occasional coarse laugh.’
    • ‘These treasure hunters were coarse and greedy types whose only intention was plunder.’
    • ‘A crude culture makes a coarse people, and private refinement cannot long survive public excess.’
    • ‘A maid hurries towards the coarse fellow with the bowl of charcoal used as a pipe-lighter.’
    • ‘This created peer pressure and the cultivation of rough manners, coarse language and status symbols like the body tattoos.’
    • ‘If there was one place that Angel detested it was the village, full of smelly houses and coarse women.’
    • ‘He was far too coarse and obvious to make that necessary, wasn't he?’
    • ‘To such as these the everyday language of the factory workers will sound shocking, and their general behaviour appear coarse and vulgar, but it is not so in reality.’
    • ‘You are never coarse or vulgar, and people who display such traits offend you.’
    • ‘He sees a woman much like himself, a coarse merchant's daughter who guffaws loudly at a dirty joke.’
    • ‘Though she is coarse and stupid, she imagines she is cut out for a job in the movies.’
    • ‘The missives were framed in particularly coarse language to make the point.’
    • ‘There are no smiles of a summer night here as Mozart's warm human comedy degenerates into an ugly, coarse sex farce.’
    • ‘She had become like all the other strong, hard, coarse women of poor households.’
    • ‘I heard some laughing, like a thick coarse chuckle.’
    oafish, loutish, boorish, churlish, uncouth, rude, discourteous, impolite, ungentlemanly, unladylike, ill-mannered, uncivil, ill-bred, vulgar, common, rough, uncultured, uncivilized, crass, foul-mouthed
    vulgar, crude, rude, off colour, offensive, dirty, filthy, smutty, obscene, indelicate, improper, indecent, indecorous, unseemly, crass, tasteless, lewd, prurient
    View synonyms
  • 3British Relating to the sport of angling for coarse fish.

    ‘coarse anglers’
    • ‘The Internet has made a huge difference to acquiring information on many subjects, including angling, and the coarse anglers over here have their own club and national sites on the Net.’
    • ‘Even if you are a coarse angler these fish are a sight not to be missed.’
    • ‘Don't lift the rod tip high as in trout or coarse fishing.’
    • ‘In fact, many hire companies provide the tackle for coarse fishing, so it's very easy to try your hand at catching bream, perch, roach or rudd.’
    • ‘Once the river levels were back to a fishable condition, coarse and game anglers experienced some good fishing.’
    • ‘Many more anglers are now going out fly fishing for the coarse and sea fish species.’
    • ‘Before putting away my coarse fishing gear until June 16th I made sure it had all been cleaned.’
    • ‘You can also increase your catch numbers by copying our coarse fishing colleagues and employing swim feeders.’
    • ‘The fixed spool reel is the most versatile reel in coarse fishing and as such is the most popular reel.’
    • ‘The majority of English coarse fishermen naturally tend to think of French fishing in terms of carp alone but this couldn't be further from the truth.’
    • ‘Working-class coarse angling was also becoming more accessible thanks to the railways.’
    • ‘Angling, both fly-fishing and coarse fishing, is governed by intricate rules, which justify the catch as the end-point of a contest.’
    • ‘Indeed, sections of the Grand Canal have some of the best coarse angling in the country.’
    • ‘Anglers can also enjoy the open spaces and easy access to excellent coarse fishing.’
    • ‘The owner keeps an eye on coarse anglers to make sure all the trout are returned.’
    • ‘I should stress at this point that my own interest is in coarse fishing on lakes and rivers and all that I write here is done so with this in mind.’
    • ‘The main reservoir will be used for coarse fishing and there will be an additional trout lake and a junior pond.’
    • ‘One of the fundamental reasons for this is that there have always been three distinct types of fishing - game, coarse and sea angling.’
    • ‘The native fish will then be reintroduced in time for the coarse fishing season which starts in the summer.’
    • ‘Let me tell you about one of the greatest day's coarse fishing I've had for many, many years.’


Late Middle English (in the sense ‘ordinary or inferior’): origin uncertain; until the 17th century identical in spelling with course, and possibly derived from the latter in the sense ‘ordinary manner’.